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MSW Online graduate shares career advice

This article was originally written for MSW Online in collaboration with Boise State University and Malia Kealana Burgess. Reposted with permission.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in social work?

Like many social workers, I had several careers before I was able to identify that social work was my calling. Primarily, I had been a teacher up until this point. It wasn’t until a student of mine was experiencing an overwhelming amount of emotions after reading a poem that they wrote about the death of a beloved family member.

I realized that teaching was still a calling, but helping humans in the face of tragedy and, more generally, the full spectrum of human emotions, absolutely would be my own.

What kinds of fieldwork/internships did you do while in school?

Nicole Lang, Boise State’s fieldwork supervisor, doggedly worked to find me an excellent placement in my semi-rural area. She left no stone unturned and found a placement where I was nurtured and educated by excellent clinicians, working with young families, children, and those in recovery.

I was able to work in so many social work domains. I’m grateful to say that this internship set the tone for the early years of my career, where I was able to connect and form meaningful relationships with mentors who believed in me.

What course of experience in school do you think best prepared you for your career?

What resonated for me was the class highlighting DSM diagnosis and the process of diagnosing. It is something that so many clinicians do not feel confident with, and yet it is essential. Boise State did a great job of preparing me to feel confident with diagnosing.

Learn More About the Master of Social Work Online:

Boise State’s Master of Social Work (MSW) Online degree prepares students for advanced social work practice with individuals and families. Boise State Online offers both a Regular Program MSW and Advanced Standing MSW Program.

Are you interested in learning more? From deciding if an online degree is right for you to figuring out what credits transfer from previous schools, talking to a Student Success Coach is the best place to start.

Contact a Student Success Coach

View the MSW Online Article